Superstar Juan Manuel Marquez took the opportunity to scold Golden Boy Promotion’s Mexican star Saul Canelo Alvarez for him failing to fight middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, and instead looking towards a fight against the still ring rusty Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for fight in 2017.
Marquez feels that for Canelo to be more like Muhammad Ali, he needs to face the top fighters that are important for him to face like Golovkin. Marquez feels that Canelo is focusing on business and not picturing how things would be for him if he were to face Golovkin and beat him. In other words, Canelo is thinking too much on getting paydays against beatable guys like Chavez Jr. rather than taking a real challenge in fighting Golovkin.
Marquez said this to ESPN’s Hit-to-Hit about Canelo needing to be more like Ali by fighting the best and proving himself:
“It would be an important step [for Canelo to beat Chavez Jr.], but Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.is on his return, and not at his best,” said Marquez. “It would be competitive and good, but the good fight, the interesting fight for Canelo is against Triple G.”
Marquez is right about his thoughts on Canelo. Facing a rusty Chavez Jr. is not nearly as interesting a fight for the boxing world than if Canelo were to fight Golovkin. Chavez Jr, 30, was a good fighter when he fighting frequently, and keeping in shape. However, Chavez Jr. was out with a hand injury for a year and a half after his win over Marcos Reyes in 2015.
Chavez Jr. returned this month on December 10 to defeat fringe level super middleweight contender Dominik British by a 10 round unanimous decision in Mexico. Chavez Jr. clearly needs more fights under his belt before he would be able to fight Canelo in a competitive match. It doesn’t seem that Chavez Jr. will be getting any more fights in before facing Canelo if the two sign for a mega-fight on Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend next May. Most boxing fans see the Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight as a slaughter in the making.
The mismatch will be compounded by Chavez Jr. having to fight at a catchweight, which could be as low as 164lbs. Chavez Jr. hasn’t been that low for the last four years. The 30-year-old Chavez Jr. would possibly be weakened if he has to get down to 164, which would help Canelo have an easier time beating him. Is it a fair fight? No, I don’t think it is. Canelo is on the top of his game, and he’s been active throughout his career. Chavez Jr. stopped being active four years ago.
“Everybody has to ask because he has to prove [himself],” said Marquez about Canelo. “Canelo Alvarez speaks a lot of business, which is important, but the business has to be done. You have to formulate it. In this case, imagine if you would beat Gennady Golovkin. Face those you have to face [to be like Muhammad Ali, and beat those you have to beat, logically tough opponents to strong opponent. To be the best, you have to beat the best, and here it is, Canelo. He leaves much to be desired,” said Marquez.
As much as Marquez wants Canelo to take the fight against Golovkin, he can’t force him to do something he doesn’t seem to want to do. Canelo is a different type of person than Marquez. We didn’t see Marquez stalling on opponents during his career, and he wasn’t big on catchweights either. Canelo has been fighting at catchweights for the past three years.